Morphological Analysis of Dholuo Number Markers


  • Jackton Otieno Midigo Rongo University
  • Boke Joyce Wambura Tom Mboya University


Agglutinative Language, Dholuo Nouns, Number Markers, Plural Morphemes


This study examines plural morphemes in Dholuo nouns by investigating their number markers. Dholuo being an agglutinative language, some nouns can hardly be noticed to be broken down into multiple meaningful parts. It is then hard to predict their number marker patterns. Nouns in Dholuo can exist as bare roots without prefixes or suffixes. They can also exist as poly-morphemic words with suffixes hard to comprehend. Data for this paper constitutes Dholuo nouns which were collected from twenty Dholuo speakers purposively sampled from Suna East Sub-County in Migori County, Kenya. These were analyzed through descriptive research design, guided by the morphological theory. The findings show that plural morphemes in Dholuo nouns are irregular and number markers majorly forming plural morphemes are suffixes -e, -i and -ni. In compound nouns, number markers are formed through inflection of plural morphemes on the left base, right base or both and in some instances, there is no inflection. The inflection then makes Dholuo nouns vary in form in expressing grammatical contrast in number. The findings of this paper would be significant to syntacticians in contributing towards the ongoing attempts to describe aspects of languages in theoretical linguistics. The findings on Dholuo noun morphology can also help gain insight on how Dholuo how speakers conceptualize and categorize the world, revealing underlying cognitive processes.




How to Cite

Midigo, J. O., & Wambura, B. J. (2024). Morphological Analysis of Dholuo Number Markers. Eastern Africa Journal of Contemporary Research, 4(1), 22–32. Retrieved from